Roger’s Rules

A lesson from Down Under

I write from an idyllic spot on the Great Ocean Road, a couple hours outside Melbourne on the way to Adelaide. A vast expanse of spotless ocean opens out below me, and there’s nary a ship or illegal-immigrant-bearing boat in sight.  That’s been happening mostly up by Christmas Island, an Australia territory in the Indian Ocean. Hordes of indigents from Sri Lanka, India, and elsewhere had been crowding  on to something that floats and making their way to Christmas Island, if not the Australian mainland itself, and, once ashore, seeking out the nearest welfare agency for their first check. It was not dissimilar to what’s been happening on the Southern border of the United States, except, alas, there is no great body of water to impede those eager welfare seekers slipping into the U.S. 

The Aussies, under the enlightened leadership of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, seem to be well on the way to solving the problem. The key is way they call “off shore processing.”  The key is nabbing the chaps before they set foot onto your sovereign territory.  Do not, I heard Prime Minister Abbott say on television last night, do not get on a boat and try to come here illegally. It won’t work.

Just like President Obama, right?  Strong leadership from a man who has his own country’s vital interests at heart . . . (just kidding).

Tony Abbott’s scheme relies on the Republic of Nauru. Nauru has been much in the news here lately. It’s a tiny island in the South Pacific, about 8 square miles in size and sporting fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.  It also, through special arrangement with the Australian government, serves as a sort of way station where illegals are docketed before, if all goes well, they are sent back whence they came.

Why doesn’t the United States find a U.S. equivalent to Nauru?  I first thought of Guantanamo Bay, our resort for terrorists on Cuba.  President Obama has pretty well emptied that of high-value prisoners, exchanging them for army deserters and the like. But perhaps Guantanamo Bay is not the right spot.  I also thought of Guam. Notwithstanding Congressman Hank Johnson, we can be reasonably sure that that small island will not tip over (as Congressman Johnson, D., of course,  GA., feared). Guam might work.  But the best place would be an independent principality in the Caribbean, some island republic not too far from Central America that we could pay to take the many welfare seekers who are pouring across our southern border.  I’m told it’s working out pretty well for the Aussies.  We should give it a shot.